With new companies like Try It Tiny and Trailermade, Inc becoming more common, the question begs to be asked. Why try it before I buy it? There is a common misconception that if you like it that much you shouldn’t have to try it out. Buying should be a no-brainer. But when you are talking about a tiny house there are a number of things that come into play that simply aren’t relevant to the purchase of a sticks ‘n bricks home. For instance, what if I can’t be happy in 200 sq.ft? What if I feel claustrophobic? What if my dog’s flatulence is too much to bear in a tiny house? What if I can’t navigate the steps to the loft? None of these are really a consideration in a larger home. But they are so important in a tiny house and they really are the fuel to the fire of the whole “try it before you buy it” sensation. This doesn’t even speak to whether or not the house is on a foundation, can be towed by your current vehicle, or is not legal in your current area and should really stay where it is at. All that said, I have put together 3 VIPs (V.ery I.mportant P.oints) to trying before buying.
1. It takes time to learn to live tiny
In the case of tiny homes one often watches a television show, couples it with their own lifestyle (which may be lighter than others), and think they can move into a tiny house lickety-split. They don’t consider that their current space is a square and not a rectangle. They are used to spinning in circles in their living room without hitting 2 of the 4 walls, and the list goes on. I have long said that going tiny begins with an emotional transformation. After that comes an academic transition, a consumption transition, a social transition, and much more! It is a lot like a butterfly suddenly being thrust back into the cocoon and told to live long and prosper. In the try it before you buy it methodology you get a chance to see on a basic level if you can do the tiny thing. You get to spend hours in the home to see if you unknowingly start banging your head into the walls or closing your eyes in an effort to imagine the wide open spaces of a Tahitian island. On the flip side, it can convert you from a dreamer to a doer. It can confirm to you that you don’t need nearly as much as you thought you did and that living tiny is perfect for you! You’ll never know though until you try.
2. A lot can happen overnight
Imagine, if you will, you check into your tiny house. You set your overnight bag down and decide to have a look around. You take mental note of the stairs leading up to the loft, the small sink that is supposed to be used to wash dishes, the composting toilet, and the obvious lack of hanging clothes space. You shrug it off though choosing to stay downstairs a while, opting for dinner out, pledge to use the restroom at the restaurant (if you need to, of course) and gently laying your hang-up clothes across the back of the couch. You TXT a few friends, establish a meeting place and head out. On the way out you forget to turn on a light to greet you on your return. When you get back and open up the door you are met with darkness and what your body makes out as tight space. You have had a few to drink though so you chalk it up to that and head upstairs for a good night’s sleep. On the way up the ladder, you miss a rung and end up on the floor. Nothing is hurt though other than your pride. You realize you are about to tinkle on yourself. You head to the bathroom only to find yourself staring at the commode wondering where your pee goes, how it gets there, and what it smells like until then. Oh well, you think. You do your business, close the lid, and move on. You’ll deal with it tomorrow. This is of course not even covering that one time in the middle of the night when you chose to open the egress window and try to tinkle out it before realizing that wasn’t an option and you would have to half step down/half slide down the stairs to get to the tiny sink to relieve yourself for fear of not being able to operate the composting toilet without either an instruction manual or a YouTube video! A lot can happen overnight.
3. Can you really walk away?
You’ve tried it and now you want to buy it. You have always wanted a tiny house and this one seems perfect for you. The best part? It is for sale and you can relive your first experience over and over. You make a good faith deposit, contact your credit union to secure that personal loan, and then wait for the seller to call you so you can sign paperwork. During that waiting period ‘ol Murphy takes over and if it can happen, it does. There are issues with the rental company, issues with moving it off property, issues with the title, issues with getting insurance, etc.
You have always wanted live tiny though.
By this point, you have become emotionally attached to the house. You have even referred to it as your home. Be careful! You are making a financial and lifestyle commitment. This shouldn’t be taken lightly. You can always walk away. Renting does not mean you have to buy or else! Heck, rent another and decide which is better. Start a spreadsheet and document the pros and cons. If it’s going to be home, do everything you can to make it a home, sweet home!